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dog graduation1.  SOCIAL INTELLIGENCE IS IMPORTANT FOR SUCCESS IN THE WORKPLACE, IF YOU DON’T HAVE IT YET DEVELOP IT. 

This means treating everyone with respect, learning to read body language, getting along with challenging people and trying to figure out why they bug you.  Model yourself after what experienced people you respect do and say, it’s possible one of them will mentor you.  Don’t say anything behind someone’s back you wouldn’t say to their face and tell the truth.

Develop good work habits; this means being on time, only calling in sick when you are, finishing projects when they’re due and if you can’t giving your supervisor as much notice as possible.

Learn as many new things as you can and if you see something that needs doing, do it.

Dress appropriately, be consistent with your moods, curb your temper and leave your personal life at home.

Be wary of becoming close friends with someone you work with or dating someone until you know them well.

If you can do most of these things most of the time you will be seen as having leadership potential, get promoted and get excellent references when it’s time for you to move on.

2.  LIVE BELOW YOUR MEANS.

Bad credit will follow you for years and could prevent you from buying a home, going to graduate school, or starting your own business. If your employer offers a retirement plan sign up immediately, economize on things that aren’t that important to you, split the rent with roommates.

Invite friends over to your house for spaghetti or a potluck dinner rather than eating out, put some money into a savings account every pay check.

Pay your bills on time, work toward paying off credit cards in full each month.

If you have high college loan payments, are planning an expensive trip or need a newer car consider getting a second part-time job.

Being knowledgeable and disciplined about finances now will reap big dividends for you in the future and will give you the freedom to do the things you want.

3.  AVOID EXTREMES.

You don’t want to be known as the person who always dresses in purple, has the most piercings, faints from extreme dieting, only dates alcoholics, injures themselves playing dangerous sports or asks people in the supermarket if they have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal savior.

It’s wonderful to have passion and be committed to causes you really care about, but extremists have trouble considering other points of view and this trait can escalate as people age.

Much of the terrorism worldwide is caused by groups with extreme beliefs.  Leave room in your life for change and growth and be tolerant when people disagree with you.  There probably is a grain of truth for you to consider in what they say.

4.  DON’T BE AFRAID OF FAILURE AND MAKING MISTAKES.

It is through them that you will find out what your real gifts are and what you really like and don’t like to do.  One of my first bosses told me not to worry about making mistakes because if I did he would know that I was really working.

It seems as if everyone learns things the hard way.  Growing pains are indeed painful.  However, many of the difficult times in my life have led me to becoming my most authentic and stronger self.

Nora Ephron said that the difficulties of yesterday become some of your funniest stories in the present.

Try not to take yourself too seriously and forgive yourself and others for not being perfect.

5.  BE SELECTIVE WHEN CHOOSING A MATE.

This is one of the most important decisions you will ever make.  Divorce is common but hurts everyone involved so try to avoid it if you can.

Ask yourself questions while you are dating such as: Do you have common interests?  Is their view of a happy life mostly the same as yours?  Is this person reliable and honest?  Are they fun to be with?  Do you enjoy conversations with them?  Are they independent?  Are you proud to be seen with them?  Do you like their family and do they like yours?  Do you both want children or both not want them?  Do one or both of you drink alcohol, use recreational drugs or gamble because you have to?  How do you as a couple resolve conflict?

Can you imagine growing old with this person?  Will both of you be there for each other in difficult times?  Do not cave into pressure from friends or family and marry someone you have doubts about.  No one person will be ideal but you want to commit to someone you really love who has most of the qualities that you want in a partner.

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